The extreme heat we've been experiencing here in Longview and Tyler, Texas--and all across ETX--takes a toll on us physically. But it also creates significant financial stress, as well.

For many East Texans, we do our best to keep our thermostats at a reasonable level and pay those extra-high utility bills by cutting back on other somewhat more frivolous purchases. But then of course there's the added issue of inflation. And let's get real: Even for moderately successful people, having an electric bill that's over $600 can create a real problem.

And for some East Texans, the choice is either to cool your home to a safe level or purchase the food OR the life-sustaining medications that you need. That would be an extremely difficult choice to make. What would you do? What would I do?

As we do our best to navigate these challenges, thankfully there is some help available to East Texans in dire need.

Two of the organizations you need to know about regarding getting help with your electric bills are PATH (People Attempting to Help) and GETCAP (Greater East Texas Community Action Program.) 

GETCAP Executive Director Karen Swenson told KLTV that they can help people in 20 counties around East Texas. She, as well as PATH's Executive Director Andrea Wilson, are encouraging East Texans in need to apply for this potentially life-saving help. With temps like these, having your AC shut off can lead to life-threatening issues.

You can reach out to GETCAP to see if you qualify here.

Reach out to PATH by calling their main line: 903-597-PATH (7284)

Also, a reminder for all of us: Let's make sure we're reaching out to our people to make sure they're okay in this heat.

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